Pros Talk Pregnancy

The pregnancy podcast that’s shifting the paradigm in pregnancy, birth and recovery

Ja'neen Jenkins Washington on the Pros Talk Pregnancy podcast
Episode 22
8/4/2023

Stress & trauma during pregnancy: the role of the birth worker

Summary of show:

Stress and trauma. We hear that we shouldn’t stress during pregnancy. That stress is bad for our health. But how can we take an action-based approach to stress and trauma reduction and nervous system regulation? What are the options provided for someone struggling with Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs) apart from medications? How can we, as birth professionals, identify and encourage a client to seek support? Is there a way that we can *actually* address the poor maternal health outcomes that are only getting worse in our society? And, how can we address our own stress and trauma so that we do not take it into our work.

In this episode Ja’Neen Jenkins Washington joins us to chat about all things stress and trauma during pregnancy. Touching also on how our society is set up in a way that disproportionately impacts black and brown families. How can we help? Racism is deeply rooted and can affect not only the physical outcomes of a birth but also the mental health outcomes of these populations.

Ja’Neen brings us some really important and helpful ideas. She’s someone we should all get to know. The amazing work she’s doing is combining mind and body to help the perinatal population to thrive. She takes an individualized, client-focused approach to stress and trauma. Bringing together mental health, somatic body awareness, and so much more to provide her clients with a holistic experience. Stacks the cards in their favor for a better experience.

We also discuss how critical it is that birth pros do more than just ask their clients to meditate or take deep breaths for dealing with stress. It’s important for birth workers to have their own inner resources and coping strategies. And, we discuss the importance of the post birth ritual in helping birth workers to find joy in their job and avoid the burnout that is so prevalent in our industry. Let’s shift the paradigm, together!

Stress and trauma. We hear that we shouldn’t stress during pregnancy. That stress is bad for our health. But how can we take an action-based approach to stress and trauma reduction and nervous system regulation? What are the options provided for someone struggling with Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs) apart from medications? How can we, as birth professionals, identify and encourage a client to seek support? Is there a way that we can *actually* address the poor maternal health outcomes that are only getting worse in our society? And, how can we address our own stress and trauma so that we do not take it into our work.

In this episode Ja’Neen Jenkins Washington joins us to chat about all things stress and trauma during pregnancy. Touching also on how our society is set up in a way that disproportionately impacts black and brown families. How can we help? Racism is deeply rooted and can affect not only the physical outcomes of a birth but also the mental health outcomes of these populations.

Ja’Neen Jenkins Washington is a dedicated Mental Health Therapist with a keen focus on Maternal Mental Health. She holds a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling, as well as Masters in Teaching. Her diverse set of certifications consist of Yoga instruction, Body Ready Method®, Childbirth Educator and Doula services, which provide a well-rounded approach to her practice.

She has advanced training in therapeutic trauma interventions such as; Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Brainspotting. Her therapeutic specializations include Birth Trauma, Infant-child loss, Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs), and Motherhood Transitions.

Ja’Neen’s passion lies in fostering a supportive network for women and families. She is driven by the idea of reviving the ‘village’ mentality, where community support plays an integral role in individual well-being. She orchestrates workshops for prenatal and postpartum mothers, educating them about the mental health aspects related to maternity and equipping them with essential coping skills.

Furthering her mission, Ja’Neen has created a unique, comprehensive mental health program for prenatal mothers. This program aims to teach mothers-to-be about the signs and symptoms of mental health conditions, as well as arm them with coping skills to help promote better mental wellness outcomes.

A valuable resource for healthcare professionals, Ja’Neen also provides education to doulas and healthcare providers, expanding the reach of her expertise. Her ultimate goal is to significantly decrease instances of birth trauma and perinatal mood and anxiety disorders through the combined power of education and physical support.

When Ja’Neen is not in her office, you can catch her reading a book, doing hip-hop aerobic step, on her Peloton, or eating her husband’s fantastic cooking! She is the mother of an energetic 4 year old son and 7 year old chocolate lab!

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